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Program Profile: SCARE Program

Evidence Rating: No Effects - One study No Effects - One study

Date: This profile was posted on February 12, 2014

Program Summary

This is a school-based anger and aggression management program for adolescents, especially those at risk for academic and behavioral problems. The program is rated No Effects. The study found no statistically significant differences between the treatment and the comparison group in any of the three anger behavior measures.

Program Description

Program Goals
The Student-Created Aggression Replacement Education (SCARE) Program is a school-based anger and aggression management program for adolescents, especially those at risk for academic and behavioral problems. The primary goals of the program are to teach at-risk youth about emotions, including anger and aggression, and to help them recognize alternatives to violent behavior and aggressive responses. It also aims to help young people make good decisions in response to perceived offenses and otherwise cope in risky situations.

Target Population and Program Theory
The program was developed specifically to be used with adolescents. The program is based on the belief that most angry and aggressive behaviors are related to the designation of other individuals’ intentions as hostile or biased. The SCARE Program aims to intervene early on in an adolescent’s life, when many of these perceived hostilities or offenses are formed. It then reattributes these offenses in order to prevent and reduce violent and aggressive behaviors and actions. This program was developed to exclusively emphasize violence and aggression beginning in early adolescence, because of evidence that this is a critical period in social development. The SCARE Program is unique in that it was developed with student input.

Program Components and Personnel
The program involves 16 different sessions of anger management and violence reduction intervention, clustered into three distinct yet related sections:
  1. recognizing anger and violence in the community
  2. managing and reducing self-expressions of anger
  3. defusing anger and violence in others

The program is delivered daily or twice per week, in 45- to 50-minute sessions, allowing it to be integrated into a classroom setting. Its curriculum was designed for broad-scale implementation by teachers, counselors, law enforcement officers, graduate or undergraduate students, or adult volunteers.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Anger and Aggression
The Sispass-Herrmann (2000) study measured the effects of the Student-Created Aggression Replacement Education (SCARE) Program on three different anger outcomes: State Anger, Trait Anger and Anger Control. The study found that there were no statistically significant differences between the treatment and the comparison group in any of the three measures of anger behavior. The study also measured program effects on aggressive attitudes and found significant group differences favoring the treatment group. However, overall the preponderance of evidence suggests that there was little to no behavioral change in the treatment group, and the program did not have the expected impact on participants.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
The Sispass-Herrmann (2000) study examined the effects of the Student-Created Aggression Replacement Education (SCARE) Program as facilitated by senior citizen volunteers. The participants consisted of 194 sixth-grade students between the ages of 10 and 12 in a California middle school. These students were randomly assigned within classrooms to the SCARE Program treatment condition or to the comparison Enter Here program condition. The Enter Here program is a video-based vocational exploration program, delivered in 16 sessions, and is designed to help students think about their interests and ideas in terms of future employment. The goal of the program is greater career self-efficacy and maturity. The sessions typically consisted of two video presentations of certain careers with a facilitator-led discussion of each. The facilitators were also trained senior citizen volunteers.

The sample is described as multi-ethnic, with an approximate racial makeup of 80 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, and 5 percent other ethnicity students. Due to attrition and sample refining, the final sample consisted of 172 adolescents, of which 53 percent were female. Students with learning disabilities or whose primary language was not English language were not included. The final sample included 87 SCARE Program participants and 85 Enter Here participants.

The comparison group in this study received the Enter Here program during the time period where their treatment group classmates received the SCARE Program intervention. These interventions were delivered separately in groups of 8–12 students during their Physical Education classes, twice a week for 8 weeks. Pretests measures were collected from the students at the beginning of the intervention, with post-tests collected at the end of the 8-week treatment, and a follow-up collected 8 weeks after the end of the intervention.

The senior citizen facilitators were trained in two 4-hour sessions before the intervention and received a 2-hour booster session at the mid-point of the intervention. Facilitators were paired in order for two to be present at every training. Should one trainer not be available, a substitute could be contacted to help facilitate the session. Although facilitators were not randomized, the author includes a detailed outcome analysis of the intervention experience for the senior citizens, which is not discussed in this review.

The author uses the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory instrument to measure the State Anger, Trait Anger, and Anger Control of the student participants. Results were measured using Multivariate Analysis of Variance.
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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Sispas-Herrmann, Athanasia. 2000. “The Student Created Aggression Replacement Education program: A Cross-Generational Application.” Doctoral dissertation. Tempe, Ariz.: Arizona State University.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Herrmann, D. Scott, and J. Jefferies McWhitter. 2001. The SCARE Program: Student Created Aggression Replacement Education. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. (This study was reviewed but did not meet the criteria for inclusion on

Herrmann, D. Scott. 1999. "The Student Aggression Replacement Education (SCARE) Program: An Experimental Validation Study." Doctoral dissertation. Tempe, Ariz.: Arizona State University.

Herrmann, D. Scott, and J. Jeffries McWhirter. 2003. “Anger & Aggression Management in Young Adolescents: An Experimental Validation of the SCARE Program.” Education and Treatment of Children 26(3):273–302.
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Related Practices

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Following are practices that are related to this program:

This practice provides at-risk youth with positive and consistent adult or older peer contact to promote healthy development and functioning by reducing risk factors. The practice is rated Effective in reducing delinquency outcomes; and Promising in reducing the use of alcohol and drugs; improving school attendance, grades, academic achievement test scores, social skills and peer relationships.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
Promising - More than one Meta-Analysis Drugs & Substance Abuse - Multiple substances
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Education - Multiple education outcomes
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Psychological functioning
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Program Snapshot

Age: 10 - 12

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Hispanic, White, Other

Geography: Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, School/Classroom Environment, Violence Prevention

Current Program Status: Not Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide, Promising Practices Network